artificial intelligence

Q&A On Emotion AI

Emotion AI is the next wave of basic AI applications like reactive machines, like those used in chatbot software. While basic AI can react in the moment and play games like Go or chess better than humans, emotion AI adds the ability to read emotions.

For instance, MetLife uses Cogito’s emotion AI coaching solution in 10 of its U.S. call centers to provide real-time guidance to agents while they're speaking to a customer.

Marketing Daily spoke with Nicole Greene, senior director analyst at Gartner, about how marketers are currently using emotion AI and how they might use it in the future. Below are some excerpts of that conversation, edited for clarity.

Marketing Daily: What are some of the issues involved in emotion AI?

Nicole Greene: I think what's becoming really interesting is (and I want to use this language carefully) this idea of a digital person. So the lines are becoming more and more blurred in the digital space of, are you actually interacting with a human? Are you actually interacting with a bot? As AI and as emotion AI becomes more sophisticated and has more applications, that kind of distinguishing factor of “Is it a human? Or is it a digital person?” will gain focus.



Marketing Daily: How many corporations are currently using emotion AI?

Greene: We’ve identified a few in our report [examples cited in the report include Spotify, Suzuki and Jeep, among others]. But I think what is also interesting is how many organizations are beginning to test AI.

I don't want to name them specifically in this because we haven't had approval [to do so]. But it's actually more prevalent, in particularly  advertising and media, which is where they're beginning to test audience responses, to both ads, but also creativity.

Marketing Daily: What’s cutting-edge in this space right now?

Greene: How we can understand whether consumers are really engaging with the content or not, and then begin to kind of change the creative to support that engagement, is a huge piece. The other case is influence AI. So beyond just understanding how people are engaging, there’s this idea of how do we help consumers make better choices? Better can be really ambiguous, but it can be clear that your product or service is really doing better for the person as well as society.

Marketing Daily: What about the negative aspects of emotion AI? It seems like it could be called emotional manipulation.

Greene: I think there's always nefarious ways to use AI, and we need more regulation. But everyone knows that. And I think there's a few approaches here, for government needs to be more consistent in how they regulate things. It shouldn't just be up to brands.

Second, brands need to have a lot of ethical understanding of what they're doing right -- like involving cross functional teams to ensure that they're using this in a way that is for the betterment of their consumers and the business.

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